Devolved Nation Inquiry in Scotland
Scotland’s commitment to its own food, farming and countryside futures are well developed in their landmark plan Good Food Nation and their commitment to sustainable farming and food production.
Our early inquiries in Scotland suggested two particular areas on which leaders in the Scottish food, farming, health and environment sectors were broadly agreed required further thought.
- The scale and diversity of Scotland’s rural communities are frequently misunderstood outside Scotland and sometimes within Scotland itself. The needs of Highlands and Islands communities, especially the really remote areas, are habitually under-addressed. The bike tour in the Highlands, and to Skye and Shetland told us that Edinburgh feels as remote to them as London does to English rural counties.
- For all the innovative and focussed policy work on food and sustainable farming, the two sectors feel disconnected from each other. Farming groups told us that they would like to be more included in emerging food policy. Food and health groups wanted to feel more connected to their farming communities and both want to work more closely together to develop healthy sustainable local supply chains.
To progress these discussions further, and pick up any other issues, Professor Lorna Dawson, Head of Forensic Soil Science at the James Hutton Institute, Sector Lead for Environment for the SEFARI Gateway, member of the Commission’s Research Advisory Group (and RSA Fellow) is helping convene a series of roundtables around the country.